Qatar becomes the first Middle Eastern country to host the Fifa World Cup, with a vast budget, reportedly around $200-billion. The eight stadiums, plus training sites and football pitches, cost some $6.5b alone.
The hosts will open the tournament against Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on Sunday. Reigning champions France begin their campaign with a clash against Australia in the Al Janoub Stadium. Perennial favourites Brazil face Serbia in Lusail, while Germany and Spain – who are set to meet in a highly-anticipated Group E contest on November 27 – kick off against Japan and Costa Rica respectively.
Since the first World Cup in 1930, only 12 national teams have reached a World Cup final, and just eight of those have gone on to lift the trophy – all from the football powerhouses of Europe and South America. European nations have contested three of the last four finals.
A total of 64 matches will be played at eight venues over four weeks, with the final taking place at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, on December 18.
Qatar is the smallest country to host the World Cup – the longest distance between stadiums, by car from Al Bayt to Al Janoub, is 75km.
The stadiums are:
- Lusail Stadium
- Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor)
- Khalifa International
- Al Thumama Stadium
- Stadium 974
- Al Janoub Stadium
- Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
- Education City
Fifa World Cup 2022 Finals draw:
Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal
Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea